In an era of increased awareness about obesity and heart disease, more people are scrambling to transform themselves in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle.
As it may come as no surprise, many are hopping on the vegetarian bandwagon as means of trimming down and cutting out poor eating habits. For starters, the benefits of a vegetarian diet include:
- Longer life expectancy (an additional 9.5 years for men and 6.1 years for women)
- Lower body weight and decreased risk of heart disease
- Common cosmetic benefits include clearer skin: likewise, many vegetarians report high energy levels and less sluggishness when adopting a plant-based diet
The elephant in the room for those looking to adopt a vegetarian diet remains: buying “healthy” food is so expensive, isn’t it?
Money Saving Tips For Vegetarian Newbies
Savvy shoppers who understand what they’re looking for can maintain a vegetarian diet on the cheap, despite popular belief. Keep the following tips in your back pocket whether you’re considering vegetarianism or are trying to clean up your diet without breaking the bank.
Start Shopping Online
Some staples of a vegetarian diet are best purchased online on the cheap including any combination of the following:
- Dried fruits such as pineapple, dates or raisins, which represent nutritious, high-energy snack options
- Rice, beans and pasta which can be cooked in bulk and represent the central ingredient of many vegetarian dishes
- Protein powders, including plant-based or soy protein, to ensure that you’re meeting your protein needs while eliminating meat from your diet
Saving with online shopping may seem like a no-brainer: however, you can take your savings a step further by taking advantage of deals and coupons. For example, BigBasket coupons provide flat-rate discounts on your entire grocery orders online: deals are out there if you’re willing to look for them.
Don’t Be Sucked in by Marketing
Many big box brands advertise “organic” or “vegetarian” products in order to suck naive buyers in: however, don’t give in to the hype. Such items are often overpriced and are little more than marketing snake oil. Unless a food is certified organic, the term itself doesn’t mean much of anything to a vegetarian.
Likewise, you can simply stick to fresh or limited-ingredient options if you’re worried about additives and chemicals in your diet.
Pre-packaged vegetarian meals may be tempting, but they’re often costly and may contain unnecessary preservatives. Instead, you should learn to cook for yourself, and perhaps cook in bulk, as means of ensuring the food you eat is clean and prepared properly. Start with simple rice and pasta dishes and move up from there: you need little more than some sauces and seasonings to get started.
Forget the Specialty Stores
While it may be tempting to shop at stores that keep purely organic products, such stores are pricey and many of their items can actually be found at big box stores. Likewise, you can find many specialty items online for a fraction of the price.
Saving on groceries as a vegetarian doesn’t have to be complicated. By focusing on deals and understanding how to avoid the buzz around specialty stores and products, you can enjoy a clean diet on a tight budget.
Image of fresh vegetables via Shutterstock